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CERTIFIABLY CHEERMAD. FOR CHEER Moms and Dads

CheerMAD is an acronym for Cheer Moms and Dads as well as a play on words for those of us who are crazy for our kids, who just happen to cheer.

 

Certifiably Insane? Not quite.

Certifiably Crazy? Almost.

Certifiably Mad about your cheerleader? 

 

 Definitely. 

 

In the past we've written about Certifiably CheerMADs who have

 

-Scheduled brain surgery around the cheer season.

 

-Put weddings on hold when their Allstar got a bid and was now going to Worlds. 

 

So many great CheerMADs and supporting and informing them is what Certifiably CheerMAD is all about.

 

In its first year, a contest was held in which CheerMAD gave away a two -week vacation (that included a cruise and week in Miami) to, what a prestigious panel of judges comprised of industry leaders, deemed the ultimate Certifiably CheerMAD:

A father stationed in Iraq who came home to surprise his daughter and attend her first Allstar comp.

 

CheerMAD also supports cheer moms and dads who see a niche in the cheer market that they think they can contribute to. The Certifiably CheerMAD Stamp of Approval award goes to businesses owned and operated by cheer parents

 

If you have a child in Allstars, you are Certifiably CheerMAD one way or another.

 

"I drive six hours for a two-and-a-half-minute routine" or "Buy frozen peas not for the nutritional value but because they make great ice packs." or the mantra ten months out of the year "I can't. She has cheer." 

 

We're all Certifiably CheerMAD!

Cheerleading Is and Is Not a Sport

 

Depending on who you are talking to, cheerleading is and is not a sport. I’ve been having these conversations for 17 years.

 

I remember one conversation very clearly that I had at the supermarket with Mrs. B. ~the mother of one of Becky’s former elementary school classmates~ left me feeling both amused and redeemed.

 

Our daughters had been in the same homeroom, went to the same birthday parties, attended the same church groups and were both coached by their fathers on rival softball teams when Becky’s team beat her daughter’s team in the playoffs to end their perfect undefeated season.

 

But our daughters went to different middle and high schools and lost touch, though after six years it was fun to catch up with Mrs. B.

 

If you are a regular CHEERMaD reader, you know that Becky was an outstanding softball player who walked away from the popular sport for the lesser-known activity of Allstar cheerleading.

 

And nearly every day since (or so it seems) we’ve had to explain to someone what competitive cheerleading was all about.

 

“She’s a cheerleader, but doesn’t cheer for another team.”

 

“The cheerleading is the sport, not a support system for another sport.”

 

“She doesn’t cheer at any games.”

 

“It doesn’t have one season, it’s year round.”

 

“It’s a lot like dancing and gymnastics all rolled up into one.”

 

“No, they don’t have any cheers.”

 

So I felt both amused and redeemed when she said “You know that competitive cheerleading Becky used to do, it’s really catching on.”

 

Amused that she said it as if this was news when I’ve known it for ten years, and redeemed because she knew enough about it to call it “competitive cheerleading.”

 

Apparently, one of her daughter’s friends who had never cheered before but “was an outstanding athlete in high school” was going to try out for her college cheerleading squad this winter.

 

As more and more people discover what we CHEERMaDs have always known, we watch cheerleading grow in popularity as more and more athletes discover the excitement, the thrill, the on-the-edge-of-chaos-but-always-controlled, adrenaline rush that is Allstars.

 

The fact of the matter is, “Is it or isn’t cheer a sport?” isn’t a sport issue at all. It’s a civil law issue because it was left behind when Title IX was made law 44-years ago. Title IX states that: No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance (for more information go to Title IX and Sex Discrimination - US Department of Education www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/.../tix_dis.ht)

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Back in 1972 when Title IX was established, most agree that cheerleading was indeed NOT a sport. So when "women's sports" were being designated softball, field hockey, volleyball, basketball and others made the cut. I've seen the interviews of former committee members, women saying that the pom-pom and megaphone sideline cheerleaders were participating in an activity at best, but cheerleading was clearly not a sport. But today cheer clearly and its athletes feel disrespected when they hear "cheer is not a sport."

 

There are lots of reasons change hasn’t happened, mostly motivated by money issues in my opinion (there's insurance to consider and there's also control issues of the $4 billion cheer industry). But for now, the state California is the only one that has legally established that cheerleading is a sport.

 

 

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